We've watched Jennifer Hudson soar to stardom as her powerhouse pipes have taken her from American Idol in 2004 to coveted roles in film, theater, and TV, including as a judge on the Voice UK. Throughout that journey, we've also witnessed the singer undergo a massive physical transformation, eating her way down from a size 16 to a size 6.
During a recent interview on the British daytime talk show Lorraine (opens in new tab), Hudson opened up about how she has maintained her 80-pound weight loss (!!) over the past seven years (!!!).
She Focuses on Her Food
"I don't really have time to do much [working out], so I really just watch what I eat," the Dreamgirls Oscar winner said. "I'm very careful and cautious of what I'm eating, so I just try to pace those meals throughout the day. Like, okay, eat here, don't eat here. When it's early in the morning, I say, okay, I would've been asleep... so I'm not going to eat. I'm very conscious of what I put in my body."
To avoid the dreaded over-snacking and bingeing, Hudson has an unconventional-but-effective technique for overcoming any food temptation: "I throw the pancakes across the room! I don't let the food intimidate me," she told Yahoo Style (opens in new tab). "If it's too much, I just get rid of it...And I make sure I know what it is. It's all about portions for the most part. I don't work out a lot, but I do like to be active."
After giving birth to her son David seven years ago, Hudson joined Weight Watchers to set a good example. That's when she learned the effective weight-loss and maintenance tools she uses today. But her shift to truly healthy habits wasn't an easy one at first.
"I had to break my diet mentality. I used to deprive myself, thinking that was healthy. I didn't eat pasta, fried food, red meat. I hadn't had pizza in 10 years," she told Self in 2011 (opens in new tab). "If you're on a strict diet that says you shouldn't have any carbs or this or that, your body won't function the way it should. I know now that I can eat anything I want and still lose or maintain my weight. It's about portions and balance."
She's clearly done well sticking to her plan, but we still wanted to know what the incredible vocalist actually eats to keep herself healthy and happy. Here's what we found:
To jump-start her busy days, Hudson noms on a fruit-and-yogurt combo, an egg-white scramble (opens in new tab), or a breakfast burrito, she told Self in 2011 (opens in new tab).
Despite her busy workdays on set and in the recording studio, Hudson still finds time to eat a yummy-yet-healthy lunch every day, typically in the form of a turkey sandwich (opens in new tab), grilled chicken salad, or shrimp and broccoli stir-fry (opens in new tab), she told Self. Sounds delish!
Hudson makes sure to keep it healthy when satisfying her midday cravings. She enjoys celery sticks, some light microwavable popcorn, one square of chocolate, an apple, a spoonful of peanut butter, Greek yogurt, granola, low-fat tortilla chips with a little light ranch dressing, or a chai latte. She says she won't deprive herself of delicious treats, so long as she sticks to reasonable portions. Sounds like a solid philosophy to us!
For dinner with the fam, Hudson goes for sushi (opens in new tab), shrimp stir-fry, turkey and sautéed collard greens, or her yummy homemade tacos.
Her ultimate indulgence? Chocolate. The star says she has at least one piece every day. We can totally get down with that.
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